Perth Glory can today confirm that Tomislav Mrcela has departed the club and that Nathaniel Atkinson and Andrew Nabbout will not now be joining the squad.
Defender Mrcela, who made 30 Hyundai A-League appearances after arriving in 2018, has been granted an early release from his contract in order to return to Croatia with his wife.
Atkinson and Nabbout, meanwhile, have had their contracts terminated by mutual consent due to the issues surrounding them relocating from Melbourne and in Nabbout’s case, his understandable reluctance to make the move without his family.
Mrcela was quick to thank the club’s Members and fans for their support during his time in the West.
“I had a great two years here which I think, overall, were two successful years for the club,” he said.
“I hope we gave the Members and fans some joy and I would like to thank them all.
“I’m taking many great memories away, leaving as a better man and a better player and who knows what the future brings?”
Perth Glory Chief Executive Officer Tony Pignata acknowledged Mrcela’s contribution to the club’s recent success and pointed out that circumstances beyond the club’s control had rendered the Atkinson and Nabbout deals unviable.
“Tomi has performed extremely well for the club over the past two years,” he said, “and we have granted him an early release for family reasons.
“On behalf of the club, I would like to thank him for his service and wish him all the very best for the future.
“In terms of Atkinson and Nabbout, meanwhile, we are obviously disappointed that two players of their quality will not now be joining us, but unfortunately the ongoing border restrictions have rendered their moves impossible at this time.
“The club is, however, continuing to implement a very aggressive recruitment policy and there are now additional opportunities for other players to join what we are confident will be a highly-competitive squad for the 2020-21 season.”
Richard Garcia appointed new Glory Head Coach
Perth Glory is delighted to confirm that Richard Garcia has been appointed as the club’s new Head Coach for the next two seasons.
A former Glory skipper and Socceroo, Garcia has worked as an Assistant First Team Coach and Head Youth Coach of the PGFC Academy since hanging up his boots in 2017.
The 39-year-old enjoyed an illustrious playing career, during which he represented Hull City in the English Premier League, featured for the Socceroos at the 2010 World Cup, won 18 senior international caps and made over 50 Hyundai A-League appearances for Glory.
Now set to take charge of his hometown club, Garcia is hugely excited by the challenge ahead.
“I’m extremely happy to have been given this opportunity,” he said.
“Being a proud WA boy and having played for and captained Perth Glory, it’s a great honour to now be in a position to take the club forward.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our loyal Members and fans for their ongoing support during what has been a very testing year due to the issues caused by COVID-19 and I hope we will have them back at HBF Park roaring us on in the near future.”
Glory Owner and Chairman Tony Sage, meanwhile, believes that Garcia has all the qualities required to lead the club to further success.
“Richard is an outstanding young West Australian coach who has a deep understanding of our football club and what it represents within the WA football community,” he said.
“He served Perth Glory with distinction as a player and I know he will do likewise as Head Coach.
“Through his outstanding work as Head Youth Coach of our PGFC Academy he has acquired an in-depth knowledge of the talented young WA players we have within our system and I look forward to seeing those players continue their development into the senior ranks under Richard’s guidance.
“Richard has learned his trade working under and alongside a host of top-quality coaches both here in Australia and overseas and has all the qualities required to develop a team and a style of play that makes us all proud.
“This is an appointment that our Members and fans can feel genuinely excited about.”
The make-up of Garcia’s coaching support staff will be confirmed shortly.